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Should Women Be Navy SEALs?

News 2011/05/31 20:00:00
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How would the recent raid on Osama bin Laden's secret Pakistani hideaway have been different if female Navy SEALs had been involved? Might bin Laden's wives have been more compliant when seeing a female face? Or would bin Laden have resisted more?

After years of gaining ground in their battle to earn more combat roles in the military, the possibility of female special ops forces could become a reality sooner rather than later.

"As a philosophical thing, there shouldn't be anything that's closed off as a career," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told The Huffington Post.

A ban is still in place on women serving in combat and infantry jobs, but Mabus said there are an increasing amount of women working in support roles in special operations, and he did not dismiss the idea that a qualified woman could one day become an elite commando.

Like the overturning of "don't ask, don't tell," though, that change would require some deliberate, "well-thought-out" measures. But Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a similar statement last year, telling some ROTC students that he could see women in special forces at some point when "there will be a careful step in that direction."

That first baby step has already happened, thanks to the Navy's recent decision to let women serve on submarines, with eight scheduled to report to their subs in November.

Should women be Navy SEALs?
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Top Opinion

  • Just Jenn for Now 2011/05/31 21:20:40
    Yes
    Just Jenn for Now
    +12
    Physically speaking, women may not be as strong as men are, but they can be quicker, more agile, and able to squeeze in smaller spaces since they naturally have smaller frames. They'd be just as useful as any man is.

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  • Deka 1 day ago
    Yes
    Deka
    Its the 21st century I think people need to get over this , a little training and a women can be just as good as a man. If they meet the requirements then why not just give them the chance and they could make it
  • Reykjavik 2012/07/24 20:21:46 (edited)
    Yes
    Reykjavik
    On a natural sense I agree with the statement that women are not as physical strong as men. I realize women get a heartache over this concept, but its not a new concept. Sure, if a women is athletic and has been so much of her life she may have a shot at trying out to be a Navy SEAL, but that's a long shot.



    I'm not here to belittle women, because I believe they are just as good in some things when it comes to we men. The issue I have is that STANDARDS WILL BE lowered to accommodate physical deficiency...It's like statistics, the numbers never lie! Unless, a woman is on some hormonal treatment (i.e. testosterone) there is the possibility she may have a chance. The issue is BUD/S or Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL training won't allow BUD/S students to be on any sort of enhancement supplements. Due to the arduous training cycle, supplements have no real affect and tend to be a real waste of money for the student and can cause major injuries. That being said, if woman do succeed in getting their shot, let their be known that drug testing will occur....I mean it happens now.



    I guarantee that if women are allowed the standards will be lowered to meet their physical make up. If I was a woman I'd be insulted! Insulted in trying to join the elite with something to prove then i...















    On a natural sense I agree with the statement that women are not as physical strong as men. I realize women get a heartache over this concept, but its not a new concept. Sure, if a women is athletic and has been so much of her life she may have a shot at trying out to be a Navy SEAL, but that's a long shot.



    I'm not here to belittle women, because I believe they are just as good in some things when it comes to we men. The issue I have is that STANDARDS WILL BE lowered to accommodate physical deficiency...It's like statistics, the numbers never lie! Unless, a woman is on some hormonal treatment (i.e. testosterone) there is the possibility she may have a chance. The issue is BUD/S or Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL training won't allow BUD/S students to be on any sort of enhancement supplements. Due to the arduous training cycle, supplements have no real affect and tend to be a real waste of money for the student and can cause major injuries. That being said, if woman do succeed in getting their shot, let their be known that drug testing will occur....I mean it happens now.



    I guarantee that if women are allowed the standards will be lowered to meet their physical make up. If I was a woman I'd be insulted! Insulted in trying to join the elite with something to prove then it's taken away from you because sex is still an issue....There is not getting away from it, sex will always be an issue.



    Woman are in roles such as Cobra Helo pilots, A-10 warthog pilots, EOD explosive technicians and divers to name a few...Nothing wrong with that, as a matter of fact some of these pilots have partaken in combat action. The issue is strength...Women will argue all day and night long, saying they are just as good or equal...Fact of the matter we are not especially when it comes down to physical make up.



    As people in general, we are only equal in our natural rights as human beings. We may all begin from the same starting line, but we most definitely do not achieve the same goals in the end...Look, I say this because I am a SEAL, I know...I work around women in such a manner. People, who say "if they qualify, sure why not" are only contributing to their potential failure and want to see them fail...I want my female counterpart to succeed.



    There are women in supporting roles who are embedded with SOF units already...They are filling a tremendous role! Like, someone posted here, which I'd like to paraphrase, "You don't need a badge to distinguish you as special", these women are special because they are screened and selected to augment SOF units. Shoot, I'm on the verge of saying, allow women to fill roles as snipers, comms, combat medics...



    Enough of my rant...So, as for my opinion goes, I believe women should not be nor force their way into SEALs, SF or MARSOC. There will be problems, problems we don't need. If they were to sleep with a team member, their reputation will be destroyed...and reputation is all you have in this type of community. You think sex can be avoided? Maybe, but being that sex is on the first tier of Maslows of needs, its a safe bet to say sexual encounters will occur therefore destroying the moral fabric of the community.
    (more)
  • TrailOfTears 2012/04/09 05:34:30
    Yes
    TrailOfTears
    I've actually always wanted to be a seal. Im in highschool right now and just looked up the job requirements online. Apparently I have to have penis. Little disappointed, I know for a fact that I can pass that training if given a chance. Hopefully they'll change the requirements soon.
  • Robert Shewmake 2011/07/08 18:55:00
    No
    Robert Shewmake
    +1
    We segregate men in women in professional and college sports. You don't see women in the NFL and war has a lot more contact then football.
  • American Reformed 2011/07/07 21:34:48
    Yes
    American Reformed
    If they can pass the same rigorous standards sure why not?

    Blessings Upon You
  • scottie238 2011/06/08 13:11:56
    No
    scottie238
    We had MIT do studies for us while I worked at the Infantry Center,

    http://www.natick.army.mil/ab...

    Look at http://www.npr.org/2011/04/10... for more about soldiers loads for Inf, SF, etc
  • derdydave 2011/06/07 23:01:51
    No
    derdydave
    +2
    The training is a tradition. It will not change for any enlisted member or officer as they all recieve the same training and have to obide by the same standards, If a woman could pass the same training, who the hell are any of you to say that they can't be a SEAL? As long as the training is not altered, and they pass the training, they should have the right to wear the trident, and they should at least be given the chance to try.BUT, no special treatment. If they fail, they fail. period.
  • PTC PTC derdydave 2011/06/08 23:26:22
    PTC PTC
    Women cannot pass the training. It will be altered if they are allowed to be frogmen.

    This should not be about women in "the SEALs"... it should be about women in combat. Special Operations Command could use women to kill, no issues with that. Women could be use their gender to gain access and exploit the enemy. No issues. If women want to kill the enemy then it should be about the capabilities women can bring to the battlefield, rather than some bizarre experiment putting them in training with the top .01% male athletes in the nation pretending they can keep pace.

    It needs to be about the war, not equality. All things equal- women can kill just as well as man can, and women can exploit their gender to get into a position to kill. No issues. Just remember- combat is about killing and dying- not some stupid badge you wear on a uniform just to say "I am just as strong as a man".
  • PTC PTC PTC PTC 2011/06/08 23:45:26
    PTC PTC
    In the end when the enemy is lying dead on the ground after a women has shot him or her in the face, does it really matter what label you give her... if you are going to put women in direct action combat roles during these wars- then they are going to kill and die in much greater numbers. That is fine... but it is offensive that this is an argument about a specific unit rather than combat.

    If a woman really wants to risk her life more by being in a combat unit and putting herself in a position to kill the enemy, then I am sure that America could provide her the opportunity to do so while exploiting her capabilities and gender to put her in the best possible position to get the job done. You could make the advancement and pay greater than they are for all men... you can make the risk huge- if that is what this is about? This is about combat right? This is about women having a strong desire to get into direct action and kill the enemy?
  • Jane Smith PTC PTC 2011/08/07 02:30:20 (edited)
    Jane Smith
    +1
    To those who say it is not possible for a female to pass the training:

    First, the Navy EOD (spec ops) training is arguably the second most difficult training in the Navy (besides Navy SEALs). Currently, about 1% of EOD technicians are females. The training standards WERE NOT LOWERED for the women who made it. They worked hard, were tough, and made it happen.

    Second, less than 40 years ago, nearly the entire nation believed that women were too weak and too fragile to run marathons. It was not until the 1980's that this belief began to be broken down. Now, women are not only racing, they're winning. Female marathoner's time's are creeping closer to the men's and women are already beating men in ultra marathons (races longer than 26.2 miles). Studies have shown that women (in general) have more endurance than men. Thus, while the men could have an upper-hand on the pull-ups and push-ups the females could have an upper-hand on the swimming, running, and studies have shown they have a biomechanical advantage for sit-ups.

    Third, you do not have to look like a professional wrestler to make the cut. I know multiple men currently undergoing SEAL training. One of them is incredibly small (probably 5'5'' and 140), yet he just made it through Hell Week.

    So, please, before you judge that all ...

    To those who say it is not possible for a female to pass the training:

    First, the Navy EOD (spec ops) training is arguably the second most difficult training in the Navy (besides Navy SEALs). Currently, about 1% of EOD technicians are females. The training standards WERE NOT LOWERED for the women who made it. They worked hard, were tough, and made it happen.

    Second, less than 40 years ago, nearly the entire nation believed that women were too weak and too fragile to run marathons. It was not until the 1980's that this belief began to be broken down. Now, women are not only racing, they're winning. Female marathoner's time's are creeping closer to the men's and women are already beating men in ultra marathons (races longer than 26.2 miles). Studies have shown that women (in general) have more endurance than men. Thus, while the men could have an upper-hand on the pull-ups and push-ups the females could have an upper-hand on the swimming, running, and studies have shown they have a biomechanical advantage for sit-ups.

    Third, you do not have to look like a professional wrestler to make the cut. I know multiple men currently undergoing SEAL training. One of them is incredibly small (probably 5'5'' and 140), yet he just made it through Hell Week.

    So, please, before you judge that all women cannot pass the training, let them try. (additionally, I recently finished my career as a DI athlete-- you may be surprised with how much upper body strength a female can have... I know my friend who is a Navy SEAL was shocked when we lifted together).

    This is not a "bizarre experiment" this is about allowing women to at least TRY for the job she wants in the Navy. Plus, if you're right it won't matter anyway because no women will ever pass, right?
    (more)
  • PTC PTC Jane Smith 2011/08/27 00:19:26
    PTC PTC
    Navy EOD training is not nearly as hard as SEAL training. EOD does not allow women in the elite combat units as augments on the ground. The fact that only 1% have made it through a program that is much easier is not a testament to the chances of a women making it through the far more demanding and punishing program.
  • PTC PTC Jane Smith 2011/08/27 00:47:52
    PTC PTC
    One last point... while "standards will not be lowered" there will be without a doubt a large amount of emphasis and pressure to pass females. There will be a large push to make sure that women make it through. No doubt about it.
  • Charles Braley 2011/06/06 01:52:34
    Yes
    Charles Braley
    Why not - if they can muster the intitial training!
  • PTC PTC 2011/06/05 16:23:21
    No
    PTC PTC
    +1
    Women could not handle the training. It takes two years of really intense physical training to get into a SEAL Platoon. During that time, there are events that take place where trainees are forced to stay awake for extreme durations, wet, sandy, cold, and carrying around an insane amount of load. Hell weeks is 5 nights and 6 days without sleep, wet and sandy, carrying heavy boats on your head, toting around logs, doing extreme obstacle courses, tens of thousands of push ups, thousands of sit ups, over 50 miles of running (a lot of that carrying small boats), over 5 miles of ocean swimming, sitting for long durations in freezing cold water- multiple obstacle courses- that is one week of training alone, out of over 50 that it takes just to be designated.
    Every traditional combat arms male program in the Armed forces has allowed lower physical standards for women. Airborne school, for example. If this was opened to women then Special operations Command would without a doubt succumb to pressure and lower standards to push a women through. It is political, involving flag level decisions that are closer to the political realities rather than realities on the ground for the men. They have changed training standards in the past because of political pressures, and there is absolu...


    Women could not handle the training. It takes two years of really intense physical training to get into a SEAL Platoon. During that time, there are events that take place where trainees are forced to stay awake for extreme durations, wet, sandy, cold, and carrying around an insane amount of load. Hell weeks is 5 nights and 6 days without sleep, wet and sandy, carrying heavy boats on your head, toting around logs, doing extreme obstacle courses, tens of thousands of push ups, thousands of sit ups, over 50 miles of running (a lot of that carrying small boats), over 5 miles of ocean swimming, sitting for long durations in freezing cold water- multiple obstacle courses- that is one week of training alone, out of over 50 that it takes just to be designated.
    Every traditional combat arms male program in the Armed forces has allowed lower physical standards for women. Airborne school, for example. If this was opened to women then Special operations Command would without a doubt succumb to pressure and lower standards to push a women through. It is political, involving flag level decisions that are closer to the political realities rather than realities on the ground for the men. They have changed training standards in the past because of political pressures, and there is absolutely no indication that this would not happen in this instance.
    Having said all of this, there should be a separate special unit that is created for women in special operations that is highly trained and integrates with other SOF elements where conditions on the ground merit it. They should be afforded the same special pays, and same ability to get into combat. There are places on this earth where women can integrate to execute special mission sets better than men. No doubt about that.

    In the end this needs to be about capability in warfare. Nothing else matters in war. The danger here is that we let this become an imbalanced social experiment run by political pressure rather than a programmatic issue based on the fundamentals of warfare.
    (more)
  • arose13 2011/06/03 14:50:56
    Yes
    arose13
    Women are extremely strong & diligent when it comes to something they love & want to protect. They would match ANY man!
  • petrole... arose13 2011/06/03 16:39:21
    petroleum guy
    no they are weaker than most men so it would be hard for them to complete the training. They don't have the testosterone to do it. There are some military units they might be able to get in to but women usually don't have what it takes to be in the military. and that is not sexist. there's a reason why they have hard training in the special forces and leveling out the playing field is not an answer.
  • Recruit 2011/06/03 00:57:48
  • PetrifiedElephantPoop 2011/06/02 03:16:17
    Yes
    PetrifiedElephantPoop
    +1
    If they qualify...sure!
  • John® 2011/06/01 20:26:17
    No
    John®
    Maybe they can pose in sexy underwear and make the enemy surrender?
  • mr kalada John® 2011/06/02 08:31:14
    mr kalada
    i would surrender.
  • Lee 2011/06/01 20:06:54
    No
    Lee
    +1
    out of the 100 or so men that Join only 30 or so make it past hell week.
  • Mary Lee 2011/06/01 20:15:43
    Mary
    THE ENDURANCE LEVEL IS SO FAR BEYOND COMPREHENSION....AND REACTIONARY INSTINCTS ...MEN ARE SUPERIOR IN COMBAT AND MENTAL ENDURANCE IN WAR..
  • Lee Mary 2011/06/01 20:38:47
    Lee
    +1
    have you read a book by Dick Marcinko he explained about hell week.
    out of 100 men only about 30 last hell week
  • Mary Lee 2011/06/01 20:41:02
    Mary
    I am fully aware ...but I will read the book
  • PTC PTC Lee 2011/06/06 22:37:13
    PTC PTC
    +1
    it is only about .01% of the men in the nation that can even qualify to get to hell week.... I do not think many here have an idea of exactly how hard the training to be a Frogman is.

    The real argument is if we should use women in direct action to kill. Why not? Having said that, we do not need to social engineer an established male program to do that. Women can be trained to kill the enemy as well as use their gender to exploit the enemy... no harm in that.
  • Charles... Lee 2011/06/07 23:54:45
    Charles Braley
    And after all the other intense training, only what? 3? earn the right to wear the trident?
  • TrailOf... Lee 2012/04/09 05:30:03
    TrailOfTears
    im telling you, if women were aloud to at least try heel week, i would be in that top 30.
  • fairiefang -annoying fashio... 2011/06/01 19:36:03
    Yes
    fairiefang -annoying fashion snobs everywhere-
    +1
    If a woman meets the qualifications then yes.
  • Truth Matters 2011/06/01 19:05:08
    No
    Truth Matters
    +5
    Don't be absurd.

    Navy SEAL Teams are not a playground for politically correct social engineers.

    The physical demands of SEAL training are ridiculously difficult and can be achieved by very few men - who have the natural physical strength advantages. Women can't run carrying telephone poles down a beach, carry 200 lb men up a mountain, etc

    Sustaining any sort of women SEAL training would invariably require reducing physical standards or abandoning the program.
  • Lee Truth M... 2011/06/01 20:07:43
    Lee
    +1
    Correct you should read the book by Dick Marcinko
  • Mary Truth M... 2011/06/01 20:13:46
    Mary
    +1
    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT..ALSO BEING ABLE TO SUSTAIN CAPTURE AND YOUR LIFE ...
    PEOPLE HAVE NO COMPREHENSION WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT
  • petrole... Truth M... 2011/06/01 23:23:18
    petroleum guy
    +1
    so even if a women was as strong as a man and made it, you still wouldn't want her in? i know no women is going to make it but i said yes because i feel that if a women does make the try outs, they should be allowed in. even though it won't happen.
  • Truth M... petrole... 2011/06/02 02:24:27
    Truth Matters
    Yes, even if some woman somewhere, somehow managed to be freakishly equivalent to a US Navy SEAL. Of course that is a huge 'IF".

    In reality, political correctness and gender politics would result in a dumbing down of standards to levels "reasonably possible" for women. That's the practical reality of how these things play out once you open the door.

    I'm not sure if you are familiar with SEAL Training, but it's not like you have 'try-outs'.

    You have to be selected, then pass BUD's (Basic Underwater Demolition) training, SEAL Training (now combined into BUD/S). Training is about 30 months of extreme demolition, underwater diving, combat swimming, parachute, weapons training (all sorts), ground combat, survival, warfare...

    I don't want to be graphic, but there is no room for privacy in the extreme training environment they must operate.
  • corey 2011/06/01 19:02:53 (edited)
    Undecided
    corey
    ONLY and I MEAN ONLY when a woman can meet the current standards of special ops.

    NO LOWERING of the standards, just to let them in for political correctness.

    they don't lower standards to let men in do they??

    I can think of a few situations where women might be better than a man, especially when someone they are going after can be manipulated by their charms. men do it towards their female counterparts to pump for information for example by seduction.

    in regards to the OP regarding women in bin laden care, would have probably responded better to another woman due to cultural issues such as it is forbidden for Muslim woman to be viewed by non family men without a shawl.
  • Mary 2011/06/01 18:57:29
    No
    Mary
    +1
    I as a widow say.....My husband was a Navy Seal...definitely No ..
    widow husband navy seal
  • Lee Mary 2011/06/01 20:08:01
    Lee
    +1
    Correct
  • taitaFa... Mary 2011/06/04 04:30:12
    taitaFalcon23
    +2
    I sincerely thank you both for his service and your loss... no man with a wife can do something like this mission without dedication of the wife as well... god bless
  • Mordeca... Mary 2011/06/11 03:45:51
    Mordecai Jones
    Old school? Like in the 60s?
  • merlinskiss 2011/06/01 18:31:10 (edited)
    Yes
    merlinskiss
    Absolutely! As long as they can fight and pull their weight? Why not! American women taking down and killing jihadists, hamas, taliban and all those other fanatical muslim men, talk about putting salt and vinegar in the open wound...
  • Little Angel 2011/06/01 18:24:46
    Undecided
    Little Angel
    Depends on the woman...of course there are some men who shouldn't
    be allowed in the Navy Seals. If they are able and really want it...then yes.
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